Gluing veneers

      Some tips for gluing down veneer. 1998.

by Professor Gene Wengert

I have recently made a coffee table using an oak veneer top with mahagony veneer inlays. I used contact cement to glue the top down. I have a question and a possible tip.

Tip: When gluing the veneer (or counter top) use 1/4" dowels 6" from each other running along the width of the top after contact cement sets up. Position the veneer on the dowels and remove the dowels 1 by 1 as you stick the veneer to the table top. This works well with formica but you don't need as many dowels.

Question: What else can be used to glue the veneer? Contact cement is a little soft once it's finished and it's difficult to get a thin, smooth surface after gluing. This is more apparent when you use a knife to cut grooves for inlays. It's difficult to keep the inlay veneer even with the rest of the table's veneer due to the thickness and globbiness (that's a technical term) of the contact cement. Yellow wood glue can bleed through the surface as you mentioned in a previous question. I have no vacuum capabilities in my shop and probably never will due to it's size and expense. Is there an alternative to glue the veneer?

The other adhesive I like for veneers and inlays is a film adhesive--the glue comes in a sheet. This allows for even application of the glue--each sheet is very uniform. To soften the glue to get it to work, heat is required, which may mean that the film adhesives aren't for you. But thejob is outstanding. With no excess glue, squeeze through isn't much of a problem. And there is no water, so swelling isn't a problem either. And assembly time is as long as needed (compared to contact adhesives--don't ever move a contact adhesive joint).

Professor Gene Wengert is Extension Specialist in Wood Processing at the Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Click on Wood Doctor Archives to peruse past answers.

If you would like to obtain a copy of "The Wood Doctor's Rx", visit the Wood Education and Resource Center Web site for more information.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Veneer: Techniques

  • KnowledgeBase: Woodworking Miscellaneous: Woodworking

  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article